April 25, 1989
Solano County authorities evacuated dozens of residents within a half mile of a barn holding 70,000 gallons of illegally stored toxic chemicals, including explosives. The materials, many stored in leaky containers, were found by the state Department of Food and Agriculture, acting on a tip, at a rural site north of the Sacramento River between Sacramento and San Francisco. Investigators found chemicals used in munitions that had been stored in the barn in drums since 1981. Deputy Dist.
August 14, 2009 |
A controversial $40-billion government program to buy toxic securities from ailing banks has a flaw that law enforcement and financial experts say could allow traders to illegally profit from inside information. Critics of the program say that without adequate safeguards, traders could use the tens of billions of dollars provided by the government to manipulate prices and exploit the price swings in other trades. Because the government is providing 75% of the program's money -- $30 billion -- the manipulations could lead to significant losses by taxpayers.
April 20, 1989 |
If the toxic blaze that drew emergency crews from three counties to a Saticoy chemical plant last week had occurred 10 years ago, firefighters might have treated it as just another routine call. The 1,500 residents sent fleeing for shelter probably would have been allowed to stay put. The two fire trucks that were left at the site for three days while they were checked for poisonous residue probably would have been driven off. And the charred and potentially contaminated debris being studied by scientists probably would have ended up in a trash dumpster.
November 1, 2009 |
More than 60 years after scientists assembled the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, lethal waste is seeping from mountain burial sites and moving toward aquifers, springs and streams that provide water to 250,000 residents of northern New Mexico. Isolated on a high plateau, the Los Alamos National Laboratory seemed an ideal place to store a bomb factory's deadly debris. But the heavily fractured mountains haven't contained the waste, some of which has trickled down hundreds of feet to the edge of the Rio Grande, one of the most important water sources in the Southwest.
January 16, 2004
"Ancestral Diet Gone Toxic" (Jan. 13) reports that Greenland's Inuit tribes contain levels of toxic chemicals in their bodies so high that some human tissues could be classified as hazardous waste. This should serve as a wake-up call to the public and policymakers in California, where billions of pounds of industrial chemicals and pesticides are released each year. Recently, the University of California and state health agencies tested blood and fat tissue samples of women living in California for toxic flame retardants, called polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and found them to be among the highest in the world.
March 30, 2009 |
Residents of five communities in Queensland took part in the inaugural Toad Day Out event, killing thousands of poisonous cane toads amid a festive mood. The toads can grow as long as 8 inches. They were imported from South America to Queensland in 1935 in a failed attempt to control beetles on sugar cane plantations. But the toads couldn't jump high enough to eat the beetles, which live on top of cane stalks. The toads bred rapidly, and they now threaten many local species. They spread diseases, such as salmonella, and produce highly toxic venom.